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Woman tells court of baby abduction

Yin Sotheara, 34, (right) hides her face in a police vehicle
Yin Sotheara, 34, (right) hides her face in a police vehicle. Niem Chheng

Woman tells court of baby abduction

A woman accused of briefly kidnapping a baby earlier this year confessed to the abduction during her trial yesterday morning at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, telling the court she “loved the baby too much”.

Yin Sotheara, 34, said that she stole the baby from her friend, Meas Sovanna, during a game of cards on March 8. Pretending to go to the restroom, Sotheara instead crept into the baby’s room, sealed her mouth with tape and placed her in a plastic bag, before using the rope to lower the bag to the street.

Feeling remorse over her actions the following day, Sotheara decided to return the baby to its mother, concealing it in the storage area under the seat of her motorbike as she travelled to Sovanna’s home.

Prosecutor Sin Vireak accused Sotheara of then depositing the baby on a trash pile, which Sotheara denied.

Sotheara was charged with attempted murdered under articles 27 and 199 of the Criminal Code, despite no evidence being presented that she had intended to kill the infant.

“If I had [wanted] to kill her, I would have done it when she was in my room,” she told the court.

Sotheara’s lawyer requested that her charges be reduced from attempted murder to theft, but Judge Chuon Soreasey appeared to suggest that Sotheara should have known the baby could have suffocated during the abduction, calling her “so brutal”.

The court will deliver a verdict on July 26.

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